Trust Karl Lagerfeld to make a witty reversal of a fashion cliché. Where once Fendi made headlines by hiding fur discreetly on the inside of casual coats, now he's done the opposite: smoothing pelts onto the outside of extravagantly oversize down puffers. That made a dramatically chic and witty opener for a collection that brought Fendi back in from the cold of its so-so fall season last year.

The other news was in the color: a darkly vibrant palette of aubergine, wine, bottle green, and browns, with which Lagerfeld worked to make fur, suede, fabric, and knit blur together so eye-deceivingly that the materials can only truly be verified by touch. Take a loden jacket, playfully extracted from Lagerfeld's Germanic past, but reshaped into a body-hugging leather-bound form, with a big collar. Part of it was apparently suede, but what of the zones that looked like dense bouclé wool? In this house, it's more likely to be some extraordinary clipped, tightly curled fur. But even from two steps away, it was impossible to tell.

As always in this ultraluxurious ready-to-wear collection, there were many stand-alone items for women who want to invest in an extraordinary fur piece rather than a slice of a theme. They included a slim military coat, unembellished except for horizontally shaved stripes and epaulets; a semisheer cardigan jacket of white Mongolian lamb; and several full-skirt coats with nipped waists. The accessories, too, had a random charm, apparently unrelated to any grand overarching theme, yet all the better for it. One pair of boots, jeweled in a kind of flowery William Morris pattern, had nothing at all to do with another that came smothered with black lace. But there was one thing they all had in common, and it's something that women can read in a flash: an off-the-scale go-get-'em factor.